Victor Vitale is a legend in New England. From his humble beginning with The Cigar Agency he has grown to brand owner of Ora Vivo and today’s review, Tortuga Reserva Cedro. According to their website, “Tortuga is [his] dedication to premium cigars. It defines everything [he] stands for in our industry and is a tribute to the art, culture and tradition of tobacco. After twenty years in the business [he] continues to discover more of the intricate details that define our culture. From fields to the factory, [his] process of producing premium boutique cigars begins and ends with passion. [Victor Vitale] is proud to introduce the Tortuga.”
He will be a guest on The Cigar Authority this Saturday at 12 noon.
Cigar: Tortuga Reverva Cedro
Size: 6 x 54 (Belicoso)
The Look: Wrapped in cedro, with a red ribbon foot band, it is easy to compare the look of the Tortuga Reserva Cedro to that of another well-known brand. The cigar which features and dual band system of yellow, gold and red, denotes Reserva on the secondary, and Tortuga 215 on the primary. The primary is a reference to the area code of his hometown, Philadelphia. Under the red badge of the brand is a gold coin embossed with the letter V. Once the cedar wrap is removed the wrapper reveals a thin network of veins. In the hand the cigar feels a tad light, but the foot appears to be adequately packed.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Tortuga Reserve Cedro had a slight sweetness and an abundance or earth, which the foot replicates. On the first light there is some subtle spice and cedar.
Working our way into the first third of the Tortuga the notes continue to be predominantly cedar with the slightest hint of shortbread. The cigar is smooth with a nutty finish as the first third comes to a close.
As we breach the second third of the Tortuga, the cedar remains dominant, and the shortbread remains and becomes noticeable in the aroma of the cigar as well. As we pass the half-way point of the stick some vanilla extract joins the mix with a cocoa butter like finish.
In the final third the Reserva continues to develop the notes of cocoa butter and vanilla extract notes continue over a cedar base. Once we remove the band, the spice of the cigar begins to kick it up a notch, but the sweetness of shortbread remains.
The Burn: The first third of the cigar burned asymmetrical, but the time we reached and inch and a half the cigar was looking flawless. The marble color ash was weak to say the least and it put a hole in my sweat jacket which left me pretty pissed off. The draw of the cigar was a little loose and I would have preferred it to be a little bit tighter.
The Finish: This is a cigar that starts off slow, but finishes strong. In the first third it might come off as a little one-dimensional, but by the time you reach the final third of the cigar it is wonderfully complex with a distinct profile. I truly was saddened that the cigar didn’t go on for another inch or two. Perhaps it is a subconscious thing, but smoking the cigar took me to South 9th street on the streets of Philadelphia and the Italian market.